COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT BULLMASTIFFS  

&

WHAT TO GET FOR YOUR NEW PUPPY

       By: Tracy Ferrick


These are some of the most common questions we are asked about Bullmastiffs.

 

1.Do they drool?

All dogs drool, but sometimes Bullmastiffs may drool more often than other breeds.   Some lines have dryer mouthed dogs than others.

2. How BIG do they get?

The breed standard calls for a dog that is between 25-27" for a male and between 24-26" for a female.  Weights are between 110-130# for a male and 90-110# for a female.  However, there are many Bullmastiffs that fall either under the standard or over the standard.  So you may see a female as small as 22" tall and 85# or a male as large as 29" tall and 170# or more.  Ideally, a breeder breeds to the breed standard and the pups that may fall outside the parameters of the standard are placed as companion animals.

3. How much food do they eat?

An adult Bullmastiff usually eats between 2-3 cups of dry kibble twice a day.   This averages out to 40-60# of dog food per month.  Some may eat more and some may eat less. Each dog is different so you need to gauge the amount of food to the size of the dog.  The important thing to remember is do not let your Bullmastiff become overweight.

4. How much do they cost?

Prices vary from coast to coast, but the average is as follows.  For a companion animal the price range may be from $1,800.00 - $2,000.00 plus any shipping costs that may apply.  For a show puppy, the price range is from $2,000.00 - $3,000.00 plus shipping costs that may apply.  For a companion pup, breeders usually make it mandatory to have the pup spayed or neutered.  This helps protect the integrity of the breed.  If the puppy is not show potential then it should not be bred.   Breeders also place companion pups on Limited Registration.  Show pups are usually on co-ownership contracts with heavy restrictions towards breeding the animal.  

5. Do I have to show my dog?

If you are interested in showing a dog, then work with your breeder on getting the best quality pup you can.  Most breeders will gladly help you along the way in this wonderful sport.   Most breeders keep their pick pups, so it could take a year or more to get just the right pup for you.  Be patient.  Let you breeder help you and teach you.  They are your mentor.

If you do not want to show a dog, then be up front with the breeder. Do not sign a show contract. Many people want a show quality pup and because you are getting a companion animal doesn't mean that it is a lesser quality.  Tell the breeder what you want.   Many top quality show prospects go to pet homes to be wonderful couch ornaments.

6. Are they good family dogs?

Yes! This breed needs to be an integral part of the family unit.  This breed IS a guard breed and does require a lot of early socialization so that they become accepting to everyone you invite into your home.  They are very rough as puppies and may knock small children down without even noticing.  They would protect you with their life, if the need ever arose.

7. Do I need to take my dog to obedience school?

YES!!!   Obedience training is in a class situation and provides socialization as well as valuable training.  If your dog is not under control, he may knock someone down and hurt them.

8. What colors do they come in?

The recognized colors are red, red fawn, fawn and brindle.  They should have a black mask and dark eyes, ears and nails.

9. How much exercise do they need?

This breed requires moderate exercise.  As a pup, start with very slow short walks, then increase the length of the walk as the dog gets older.  Do not attempt any high impact events until the dog is well over 18 months of age.

10. How do I find a reputable breeder?

Do your homework.  Interview each breeder you talk to.  Make up your own set of questions before you talk with them.  The breeder will have a set of questions to ask you.  Do not be offended by these questions as they are being asked to protect the pup! This pup will be a part of your family.  Make sure your breeder will be available to answer your many questions, no matter how silly you may think they are (no question is EVER silly).  If the breeder states that their dogs have certifications on hips, elbows, eyes, thyroid, cardiac, etc, ask to see the certifications.  If they cannot provide you with copies, then the dogs do not have those health clearances and you should be wary of them.  If the breeder has a contract, go over each clause with that breeder.  There may be clauses in that contract that you do not understand or agree with.  If you do not feel comfortable with those clauses, talk about them with the breeder and come to an agreement.  If this cannot be done then DON'T take the pup.   DO NOT IMPULSE BUY.

**If you can think of any other questions that may be helpful to prospective puppy owners, please email (wildwest@bullmastiff.com) them to me and I will gladly include them here!

*******************************************************************

TIME TO GO SHOPPING!!!!

Here is what we recommend for our puppy buyers to prepare for their new arrival!

FOOD: Pro Plan - Sensitive Skin and Stomach

This food is considered one of the many holistic foods on the market.  It has no fillers (corn, soy, or wheat, which can lead to gastric torsion or bloat).   You can buy this at Petco or Petsmart.

TREATS: Wellness biscuits.

Or any other biscuit that does not contain corn, soy or wheat flour.  My dogs love the Wellness Apples and Honey Biscuits

CHEW BONES/TOYS: Galileo bones or Nylabones.

Do not give Chew Hooves, Rawhides, or Pig Ears!!!!   Rawhide is cured with LYE and pig &cow ears or chew hooves can carry salmonella poisoning, which both you and your pup can get.  Chew hooves can also be swallowed which will lead to emergency gastric surgery.  Also, when the Nylabone or Galileo bone sits for a couple of days, just wash it off with an antibacterial soap and it's ready to go again!

COLLARS/LEASHES: Your puppy will grow very rapidly.  Make sure the collar does not get too tight.   Also, for a leash, you should use a 6' long leather leash.  When walking a dog, use a choker collar, not a buckle collar.  A dog can slip out of a buckle collar very quickly.  Also make sure that when wlaking your dog, you have his/her microchip tag on at all times.

SQUEAKER TOYS:Be careful that when the pup rips a toy open that he does not swallow the squeaker.

BEDDING: A puppy will chew up everything!!!! Wait until the pup is over a year before buying an expensive bed for him.  An old blanket or comforter is adequate. Do NOT use electric blankets.   They will chew the wires out of the blanket and can choke to death on them or they can injure the gastic system.

SHAMPOO: Mane -N-Tail or Eqyss Premier Natural Botanical Pet Shampoo.

Do not bathe your dog more than once a week and if you can wait until it's been 2 weeks that is even better. If you bathe the dog more than this, he can develop dry itchy skin and dandruff.  Between baths, you can use a mixture of Listerine and water (50/50) and spray it on the pup and rub it into the coat.  This keeps the pup smelling fresh without taking away from the natural oils that keep the coat healthy.

EAR CLEANING/NAILS: If your dog gets dirty ears, you can use the recipe in your binder called: Blue Power Ear Cleaning Solution.  It's tried and True and cheap to make!

MAKE SURE YOU TRIM YOUR PUPS NAILS EVERY WEEK!!!!!

CRATING: We use wire crates so that the pup can have full ventilation at all times and that he/she can see what is going on around it.  I prefer using the Midwest Model #1242, size: 42"L x 28"w x 32"h.  This can be ordered from any of the pet catalogs listed below.

EXERCISE PENS: An exercise pen is like a child's playpen.  It keeps the pup in a safe containment area without it being in a crate.  If you work full time, use the above mentioned crate and an exercise pen as a mini-kennel in your home.  The pup will be safe from electrical wires/outlets and will not be able to chew up the furniture!  This will also keep the pup warm and dry.  The size most used is the 36" high model.   There are 8, 2' wide panels and when opened it makes a perfect square.  All of my pups are started off in this containment system.

VITAMINS: The only supplements or vitamins your puppy should be on are: Ester-C (see dosage on your cover letter in your binder) and Fresh Factors. This can be ordered from Springtime Inc ( www.springtimeinc.com ).  Remember, NEVER give a growing puppy calcium supplements! We also use 2 supplements from Nature's Farmacy.   One is Phytoplex CCM and the other is Cran-Tri-C.  These are used during the large growing stages when your pup is more prone to injuries and is usually down on their pasturns. Please contact me for more information on these two supplements.

PET SUPPLY CATALOGS: There are many pet supply catalogs that sell wonderful products.  The ones I most use are:

Care-A-Lot ( www.carealotpets.com )

Revival Animal Products ( www.revivalanimal.com )

KV Vet Supply ( www.kvvet.com )

Doctors Foster & Smith ( www.drsfostersmith.com )

J-B Wholesale ( www.jbpet.com )

There will always be tons of toys and goodies to buy for your new baby, this is a good starter list!  Have fun with your new pup and remember, let your puppy grow slow and keep him lean! A bigger dog is NOT a better dog!

Tracy

 

 


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